November 4th, 2011
12:31 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Family court judge should not be beating child

Comments of the Morning:

"Gotta run. Time to beat the kid and kick the dog." - sickciety

"Attention Lawyers – Never, never, never spank your disabled 16-year-old child. Have you no decency?" - babyBoomers0

DA: Statute of limitations prevents charges in judge's beating of daughter

Now 23 years old, Hillary Adams has released a videotape of her father, William Adams - a family court judge - strapping her when she was 16. Thousands of CNN.com readers responded to the story, many sharing stories of similar beatings. While some questioned the daughter's motives, others said there was no excuse for her father's behavior, as a family man and a professional.

SDN said, "I think it safe to say that if you were videoed doing this to anyone else, you'd be arrested and charged with assault. The video/audio would go a long way in convicting you, and sending you to prison. I condemn this man for beating his child. Simple."

fredwolf said, "I hate to admit it: beatings do set some people straight. I had a cop stepdad who beat me often, once because I got a 'A' in science and he thought it made him look stupid. He beat my mom too and she wanted to leave him. He threatened to put our neighbors in jail if they reported it. Few years later when I returned on leave and he was retired, we went for a beer, and I beat the living ##&* out of him, partly with his own gun, in an alley. We threw his stuff in the street. The beating worked! He never returned. I never beat my kids, all it does make 'em figure out ways to get away with it next time."

dontgiveadam said, "I was beaten frequently with a belt for just about anything from not shutting the bedroom light promptly at 9 pm to not cutting the grass the right way. I lived in fear of my father. And, turned to drugs and alcohol in my early teens as an escape from the pain. I'm now sober, but, it took me 20-years to come to grips with my past to finally become clean and sober. I forgave my dad, but will never forget the pain and agony of living in constant fear growing up."

FFelonie said, "I'm glad someone finally got something like this on cam. My dad did this and worse to me: full-blown punches in the face, whipped on the legs with a belt, and no compassion. I wish I could bring him up on charges now. ..."

sisNorth said, "It's astounding to see the number of comments here that chastise this young woman for coming forward and are suspicious of her motives. Her motives are totally beside the point ... this man was brutally assaulting his daughter, a child, repeatedly. Her mother was complicit, she did not protect her child. None of you know what was going on there or if she is 'spoiled' or 'bad' or a 'brat'. You ASSUME because of the beating she got. He beat her because that's what he does ... he's a grown man beating on someone who can't defend herself, someone he is supposed to love and protect from harm."

GenCouncil said, "There isn't anything inherently wrong with corporal punishment as long as it is practiced with temperance. Sometimes the human ability to understand that it has done wrong is limited by its pride."

iEvolved said, "If you have to beat a 16 year old with a belt to get your point across, then you're a terrible father. How many cases of child abuse has this judge presided over during his appointment over the years? Pathetic."

SheliaYudelo said, "First of all - no doubt the girl is messed up: she was routinely beaten and verbally abused by both of her parents. Duh. More importantly, it does not matter what her motives were for posting the video - what matters is that (i) this man is a public figure; and, (ii) he determines the fates of children; and, (iii) he beat, humiliated, and terrified his daughter; and, (iv) who viciously assaults and tries to destroy someone for downloading music?"

flonzy said, "Yeah the beatings have nothing to do with the person she is today."

Do your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. ICUnurse

    And how many of his judgments will be overturned because of the release of this video? Would you want this man to be your judge? Yeah, I think the daughter is probably clapping her hands at all the trouble he's in, but it's also so strange that he calls her by her full name like she's a stranger in his statement, and says he is going to pursue civil and criminal activity - "Daddy Dearest" is going to sue his daughter, you bet. And as for the Mercedes? I've seen a lot of abusers give their victims cars, money, and "make up presents" as if that makes the abuse all better. He's likely to lose his job and the presents will stop, and she will have to learn to live without the financial support from her dad, and he's going to have to learn how to live without being in control of other people's lives.

    Why not say, "my daughter repeatedly stole internet downloads and in a moment of rage and frustration, I beat her with a belt, and regret that action?" You beat a child with a belt for 7 minutes because she downloaded a video game? Yes it's wrong, but there's such a thing as proportional punishment. Which makes me wonder how this guy could make a fair and balanced judgement on the bench. He's clear that he's not sorry, he's not even sorry he was caught, he's angry that he was caught. I hope for her sake that he only pursues this in a court of law; we already know he likes to use his fists.

    November 5, 2011 at 5:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. gung hoe

    Well thank u wacky weed And as you have conceded so will I This did take place well before obama ! where our country started losing
    its moral standard you could actually go all the way back to JFK and marilyn monroe then bill clinton and his multiple affairs,the nation really did recover its sense of decency from wild billys escapades

    November 5, 2011 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Junko

    Ca't watch it any more!! This horrifies me. This was a brutal beating.

    November 5, 2011 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. john

    Isn't blackmail wrong? Got in trouble over stealing. I bet she got out of lot of other things, saying my daddy is a judge. He should have went to the police and turned her in, and not been tried on youtube and by the news. Remember when they used the paddle in school, INSTEAD OF POLICE OFFICERS. One class few years ago over half of the class was on probation. Mean people have lot of friends.

    November 5, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Oeae

    I would argue that this is common where i'm from and is not a serious issue,but it just clicked to that it might be the reason our leaders are so heartless to their own people and wicked, when they were beaten by their parents, they themselves beat their children and who are we compared to their children, feel like my eyes kinda opened a little.

    November 5, 2011 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Oeae

    i kinda also wanna hear both and all sides of the argument.

    November 5, 2011 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. john

    She can't get or want husband, just shack up job. Which the nation now likes, no strings, just walk when you get the urge. Lot of the trouble is the news pushes what they want the nation to do, people are like sheep. WHY DON'T THE PEOPLE ON TALK SHOW RUN THE WORLD, THEY KNOW SO MUCH.

    November 5, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. the Prophet

    No Judges should not be people of reason, so whatever they do proves that there is no man that endure reason accept Aristotle. But before analyze anything let us analogize who we are in the 2oth century shall we.

    November 5, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Anthony

    She obviously knew what she was doing was wrong but figured she'd be able to.manipulate her dad. She is more of a manipulator and blackmailer than disabled. Anyone that would set themselves up to profit off of something in that manner is basically evil.

    November 5, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jd

    Did she steal anymore?

    November 5, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Portland tony

    There is enough Cruelty in this world I don't care in whose behalf it's dispensed, God's or mortals. IT'S WRONG! Parents should be the protectors not the assailants. No good ever came from mistreating the young!

    November 5, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mark

    The video does look bad, but in all reality, not one of us were there in the home when it was happening to really make an accurate judgement. Honestly, it's nobody's business but that judge and his daughter. I have received pretty bad beatings when I was a kid, way worse than this one, & my life turned out just fine.

    November 5, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff

    Can someone explain why a women was on trail because she put hot sauce in her childs mouth ( not at all abuse, grow up), but a judge can get away with straight beating their child ... The child was wrong for doing what she did but there are other ways of discipline, or thats what a judge would say..........What is this country coming to???

    November 5, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. Judy

    I am a child protective investigator supervisor. The scene with the judge was appalling. What is abuse? When the use of "discipline" transfers to "force" that leaves marks and bruises is child abuse. That force translates from anger that caused the infliction. Judge or no judge, law enforcement would have dealt with this in my state. Statutes change constantly based on exactly what was shown even if it was from 2004. There is an acceptable form of corporal punishment, but again, if marks/bruises left – it is not corporal. I have never seen a beating change a child's grade in school or stop them from doing negative things that irritate parents. "Back in my day....." is no longer an acceptable statement because it was wrong even then.

    November 5, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • What_a_Nation

      @Judy,
      I wish you were around when this was happening to me. although, I must admit I don't remember it being that bad.
      However, when a child grows up knowing they are in an abused home and knowing that nobody will speak up, the child is going to have some issues, like I did. Thank God that I seekd his guidance though and I am okay now. People, you need to think about society as a whole and not that just sick word "discipline" which is often interpreted as beating a child just because you can.

      November 5, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. KoKo

    She set that man up!!! she got what she needed. she should have just bent over the bed and take her punishment. i feel that the punishment should fit the crime!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYBODY KNOW AND I QUOTE," SPARE THE ROD SPOIL THE CHILD!" ALMOST EVERYBODY HAS RECEIVED SOME LICKS FROM THE BELT BEFORE!!!!!!!!!!!! STEALING IS A NO, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO MATTER HOW U DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
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